So yesterday I attended a webinar about writing an author’s bio – how it is in fact a form of copy-writing, and making it short, informative but also engaging can be vital to encouraging people to become your faithful customers.
Apparently every blog post, every guest article, every website, every published book, should have a similar version of that bit of copy so that people can find you once you pique their interest. Of course, I was stunned to realize that in trying to build my own bio along as Elise (the webinar instructor) was building Kristen’s (the Book Ninja!), I couldn’t answer any of those simple, expressive questions because nothing was coming to mind.
Biggest Achievement? Can’t think of one. Proudest moment? Nothing in my head. Fondest memory? Uh… what, now? Funniest faux pas? Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. There is no such thing as a funny social gaffe, they’re all humiliating, painful, and best forgotten as soon as possible.
It’s said that time will either promote you or expose you. Looking back, trying to answer those questions, cudgel my mind to provide tidbits of my past that people would find engaging and be able to relate to… there’s nothing.
For years I’ve been studying personal development. While ‘self-help’ is a misnomer, it is in fact possible to learn the science of the mind, identify patterns, of destructive or unsuccessful thought, and then replace them with better habits of the mind. Keep up with those new patterns long enough, and the old neural pathways eventually become disused and inactive.
Yesterday illustrated that I haven’t actually come quite so far as I’d like to believe. That somewhere deep within, part of me is still that same semi-suicidal depressive, convinced of her own worthlessness.
It was a shock. But it was also useful information. And it shows how I’ve improved over time; even just a few short years ago, that realization would have sent me deep into the black pit that is self-loathing for weeks, caused me to focus on all my faults and mentally replay all my past mistakes, over and over again. Yesterday and today both, I’ve got those copywriting questions in mind, searching for the answers that will allow me to connect with others. People seeking to climb out the same pit I’m leaving behind… budding photographers who want to know they aren’t alone in struggling to improve… imaginative folks who have a book they want to get published but have no idea where to start… and so many others.
So give me a week or so to practice writing copy using the techniques I learned yesterday, and I’m might just have a rockin’ bio to share!